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Research Papers: Porous Media

Extension of the FLASH Method to Semitransparent Polymer Foams

[+] Author and Article Information
R. Coquard

 Société Etude Conseils Calcul en Mécanique des Structures (EC2 MS), 66, Boulevard Niels Bohr, 69603 Villeurbanne CEDEX, Franceremi.coquard@ec2-ms.fr

J. Randrianalisoa, S. Lallich, D. Baillis

 Université de Lyon, CNRS, INSA-Lyon, CETHIL, UMR5008, 20 Avenue Albert Einstein, F-69621 Villeurbanne CEDEX, Francejaona.randrianalisoa@insa-lyon.fr

J. Heat Transfer 133(11), 112604 (Sep 20, 2011) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4004392 History: Received November 17, 2010; Accepted June 06, 2011; Revised June 06, 2011; Published September 20, 2011; Online September 20, 2011

The classical photo-thermal FLASH method is a very practicable method for measurement of the conductive properties of solid materials due to its simplicity, rapidity, and to the limited size of the samples required. It has been applied successfully to a wide variety of materials. However, it is theoretically restricted to purely conductive media. Notably, it could, strictly speaking, not be used to measure the equivalent conductivity of low-density thermal insulators since a significant part of the heat transfer is due to the propagation of thermal radiation. This constitutes a major drawback of the method. Therefore, the present study investigates the possibility to extend the method to this kind of materials by estimating the errors made on the equivalent conductivity when the classical FLASH method is used. To this aim, FLASH experiments have been conducted at different temperatures on several low-density polymer foams whose radiative properties have been estimated from spectrometric measurements. By applying a least-square fit-method associated with a numerical simulation of the 1D coupled heat transfer, we managed to identify the phonic conductivities of the samples and to compute their equivalent conductivities. These values have been compared with the thermal conductivities obtained from classical FLASH method, i.e., assuming that the thermal transfer occurs only by heat conduction. It appears that the discrepancies between the conductivities stemming from the classical FLASH method and the equivalent conductivities computed are quite negligible at ambient temperature even for foams with very low densities. This demonstrates the applicability of the classical FLASH method to this type of materials for building applications. This conclusion is likely to interest foam manufacturers in view of reducing the time required for an accurate measurement of the insulating performances. On the other hand, at elevated temperatures, the errors become significant so that the method could not be considered satisfactory.

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Copyright © 2011 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

Representation of the sample and of the coordinate system

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Figure 2

Variation of the scaled extinction coefficient identified from spectrometric measurements for the three foam samples

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Figure 3

Comparison of the experimental and identified thermograms for sample No. 1 at T = 293 K

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Figure 4

Comparison of the experimental and identified thermograms for sample No. 2 at T = 293 K

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Figure 5

Comparison of the experimental and identified thermograms for sample No. 3 at T = 293 K

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Figure 6

Comparison of the experimental and identified thermograms for sample No. 1 at T = 403 K

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Figure 7

Comparison of the experimental and identified thermograms for sample No. 2 at T = 403 K

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Figure 8

Comparison of the experimental and identified thermograms for sample No. 3 at T = 373 K

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